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Workplace Anxiety and Stress? Tips to help you cope, Featuring Dr. Dana Wang

Posted on August 17 2021

Workplace Anxiety and Stress? Tips to help you cope, Featuring Dr. Dana Wang

With many companies and people heading 'back to the office' we wanted to take a moment and bring in an expert to give us some advice on how to deal with workplace anxiety and stress. Meet Dr. Dana Wang, MD who is giving us some practical and helpful tips on mental health and how to ensure your mind is healthy and ready to take on your day.

1. Why is mental health important in the workplace - when it comes to managing stress and anxiety. Perhaps there are people having anxiety going back to the workplace.

Mental health is important everywhere, but especially in the workplace where we spend the most of our days interacting with others in society. Now that a lot of people’s work place became their bedroom, the stress and anxiety we carry about performance or interactions with clients and co-worker bleed into our personal time and space. Along with the isolation from others socially, work becomes the primary place where we connect with other human beings (that and watching TV). But it’s tricky because your boss may not be your friend and your co worker may also have conflict of interest with you when it comes to the next promotion. All the power dynamic that existed at work is still present even if the expectations for work location and work hours have shifted.

One of the things I talk about with my patients is become aware of your social needs and try to get it from the right places. That means lean into your actual friends or people you trust. And if you are finding yourself excessively watching TV to try living vicariously through the characters, maybe it’s time to go on a date or experience life first hand. By becoming more aware of our needs, it comes easier for us to fulfill it.


2. Tips to improve your mental health in the workplace and a tip on work/life balance

Another thing that shifting work settings from office to home has forced us to think about is boundaries. Plenty of people feel that somehow work has become working anytime and working all the time. And just because you can technically turn on your computer in your bedroom to log into that work email, doesn't mean you should. We have to be much more purposeful about when to take a break, when to get fresh air, and when to say no to work. And just when you think you got your routine down after being isolated for a year, some of us are being asked to return back to work in office, on a voluntary or mandatory basis.

I would invite people to think about boundaries again. Going back to work in office further disrupts a routine that one spent a year getting comfortable in. You would need to set new boundaries now with home life when the expectation changed from you being at home all the time. That may mean you will need arrangement for taking care of the pet you have acquired during the pandemic for companionship, or extra childcare help so that you are physically able to work without worrying. Going back to the office may not be a bad thing. Taking some insights you may have learned from the shift in work setting to be more purposeful about how you want your routine to look like and be the most optimal in serving you, would be a question we all have to ask ourselves.


3. Final thoughts on mental health in the workplace
I would advise people to use their anxiety as a guide to see where their needs are not being met. Instead of seeing anxiety as the enemy that you need to get rid off, one can cope better by imaging that your anxiety is your therapist. It's pointing to areas where you need to pay attention to. With the uncertainty of our times, it's normal to have anxiety and it is a natural way for us to cope with change.
Now that your mind is right, we recommend taking a look at our work uniform ideas. 


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